Sam Bennett celebrates win number 13 of the season in Oviedo on Vuelta a España stage 14
The last few stages were for the climbers and GC contenders in the peloton but not today’s stage. Stage 14 of La Vuelta took the race from San Vicente de la Barquera over 188 flat kilometers to Oviedo, where a bunch sprint was expected. Shortly before the finish, the riders had to cover one category three climb followed by one intermediate sprint.
As soon as the flag dropped, six riders pulled away and, after some kilometers of racing, they had almost three minutes gap. The team from Raubling took control of the peloton and worked for their sprinter Sam Bennett. The six escapees were able to stay away for many kilometers but the gap came down to 1:35 minutes as the peloton, with the sprinter teams like BORA – hansgrohe, held the front group on a tight leash.
The race situation changed as the race headed towards Oviedo for the upcoming bunch sprint as the breakaway was caught and the sprinter teams, including BORA - hansgrohe formed their lead-outs. The German team started to form their train for the Irish Champion Sam Bennett and coming into the final stretch of the stage, the pace was high and many teams wanted to stay at the front. Bennett’s wheel was one of the most wanted on the final stretch but, the BORA – hansgrohe sprinter showed confidence as Jempy Drucker and his final lead out man, Shane Archbold did a stellar job and led their captain perfectly into the final kilometer
Fortunately, the Irish sprinter avoided a big crash in the bunch just after the flamme rouge and finished his teammates’ work off with an incredibly strong sprint, powering to his second stage win at La Vuelta on the slightly uphill finish. His second stage win marks his 13th win of the season and his 11th WorldTour win in a stage race.
The rest of BORA-hansgrohe all crossed the line safely and the team’s Polish GC contender, Rafal Majka, remains sixth overall on the GC behind P. Roglič.
01 S. Bennett 4:28:46
02 M. Richeze +0:00
03 T. van der Sande +0:02
From the Finish Line
“First and foremost, I really hope the guys that came down in that crash are okay. Today was the first time in a while on this race that the sprinters had an opportunity for a fast finish. The win means so much to me. Win number 13: my lucky number. I want to say a huge thank you to the guys for working so hard for me. They controlled the race all day and made sure the break didn't make it to the line again on this race. Let's hope win number 13 brings even more luck our way. Morale is super high in the team and I'm grateful to everyone for making today's win possible.” – Sam Bennett
“What should we say except, the boys did such an amazing job and Sam finished it off with an incredible win. We all hope that the guys who were involved in the crash are okay. Finales like this are always high speed and we were lucky today to stay out of the crash and cross the line first! Sam is a great sprinter and the team works perfectly together here at La Vuelta. This win also gives us confidence for the next tough challenges in the mountains but for now we enjoy the stage win.” – Patxi Vila, Sports Director